Moving cattle today… and baby calves are the worst. I had the five grandkids with me and we drove down to flag on the highway. There’s not much traffic this time of year, but better safe than sorry. Once again, I’m sitting there just off the highway, flashers on, making sure we are visible, when one of my pet peeves occurred. A pickup and horse trailer come driving by, and they barely slow as they pass me. Daniel’s dog, Tuff is with me, and he, unfortunately, jumps into the highway to “guard” against the stranger driving through our midst. The guy lays on his horn and cruises right by. Then barely slows to get through the herd past all the baby calves and cowboys. Seriously, I really wish I knew who he was so I could go drive by his place and act like a jerk. Some people.
Well, we carried on and finally got everything to the corral and broke for lunch. Back at it an hour later and we sorted calves from cows in order to brand. I’m at the very back when we do this, sorting off two calves for Vernon to load in the chute, where the team of Daniel, Tess, Brandon and Megan are ready to give shots, eartags, and a brand.
Soon I have two assistants and I try to coach Quinlan and Jaxon in the finer points of sorting calves. I finally made them put their rattle paddles away, little boys can’t resist such “weapons” and sword fights are not appropriate for the sorting pen!
We were joined by Lorelei and the three rotated between helping me or Vernon.
We were getting close to the end, when Brandon appeared and started flagging me down. I was confused. You want this cow? “No, you! Tess hurt her hand.” Oh….
Minutes later, iced and elevated, Daniel drove off with Tess to Worland for an X-ray.
I’m now in the midst of branding, getting eartags for the steers, shoving them into the table, writing down numbers, handing Brandon tools, and taking the hot iron away to save him a few steps. I assumed Vernon was back at the very back, bringing calves and loading them in the alley… but, no.
Quinlan and Jaxon, (age 9 and 8), are working like champs just like I explained it to them, feeding calves two at a time to Vernon and Lorelei, who follow them up the alley. I was impressed. Not many kids would have carried on in a pen of calves that outweigh them! Having an adult is a security blanket and since I was gone… they didn’t have me to rely on, but calves kept coming and you couldn’t tell I wasn’t there!
Kudos to these boys who soon will be like their fathers, working full “man” days by the age of fourteen. Lorelei will be right there with them! Also praises to Lacee, who was watching over Reagan, keeping her safe so the rest of us could do our jobs.
Tess’ hand is NOT broken, but painfully smashed… so all in all, we are very blessed!Find me here!